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William Maley

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  1. Genesis unveiled their dramatically redesigned G80 last night and it is quite the looker. The updated mid-size sedan boasts new design traits that first appeared on the GV80 crossover such as a larger, pentagonal grille and quad head and taillights. The most striking part is towards the back where Genesis' designers have given it fastback shape - no, it doesn't make it hatchback before you even ask. Moving inside, the G80 finds a balance between poshness and simplicity. From the photos provided by Genesis, the G80 looks to be available with leather upholstery, open-pore wood, and metal trim. Two large screens are used for the instrument cluster and infotainment system. Thankfully, Genesis does provide a number of control options such as touchscreen for the infotainment system, a number of physical buttons and knobs for various systems, and a controller knob. Two turbocharged engines will be available for the G80 in the U.S. A 2.5L inline-four pumping out 300 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque will serve as the base engine. One rung up is a twin-turbo 3.5L V6 with 375 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque. Both come paired with an eight-speed automatic and the choice of rear or all-wheel drive. The new G80 went on sale today in South Korea and plans to ship it over to the U.S. sometime in the second-half of this year. Source: Genesis Press Release is on Page 2 THE ALL-NEW GENESIS G80 DIGITAL WORLD PREMIERE: LEADING DESIGN AND LUXURY-FOCUSED TECHNOLOGY Design: Distinct and progressive design offers instantly-recognizable Genesis identity Technology: Next-generation, technology-enabled luxury seamlessly integrates with clients’ lifestyle, devices and preferences Safety: Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) leverage advancements in sensor technology, machine learning Performance: Brand-exclusive platform increases solidity, performance, fuel economy, luxury SEOUL, South Korea, March 30, 2020 – The all-new Genesis G80 made its digital world premiere today. It represents both the third generation of the brand’s executive sedan and a decade-plus of mid-luxury leadership from Genesis’ parent company. “The core of our brand lies within the G80,” said William Lee, Executive Vice President and Global Head of the Genesis Brand. “This segment represents where we started and we’re pleased that our newest offering achieves a perfect balance of discerning luxury and inspiring performance for our customers.” Athletic Elegance Elevated The story of the G80 begins with the brand’s emblem which inspires the Crest Grille and Quad Lamps, the distinctive face of every Genesis. “The all-new G80 is the centerpiece of our lineup perfectly weighing athletic and elegant characteristics. This represents the clearest interpretation yet of the Genesis brand identity,” said SangYup Lee, Senior Vice President, Head of Global Genesis Design. “Our goal is to offer unique, design-inspired experiences for our customers.” The brand’s “Athletic Elegance” design philosophy produces variations in design through a carefully-considered balance between its namesake’s opposing characteristics. While other Genesis models lean more towards athleticism or elegance, the G80 is characterized by the perfect balance in between, as the core of the model range. The front view embodies a distinguished but modern look, featuring the Crest Grill and double-lined Quad Lamp signature design elements. The two line graphics extend beyond the limits of the headlamps, into the rear fenders and the taillamps, encompassing all sides of the vehicle. On the side, the Parabolic Line, which begins at the front Quad Lamp and gradually runs lower to the rear through the top of the door, is inspired by the elegant look of several venerable classic cars. This elegant line is counter-balanced by athletic “power lines” emphasizing the fender volume and the upfitted 20-inch wheels. In addition, the chrome trim beginning from behind the front wheels stretches out along the bottom of the door, crosses the side sills and swells upwards to the rear, strengthening forward visual motion. The rear view features a dramatic, tapered look – highlighted by a sloping decklid and rear Quad Lamps which visually link to those in front. Chrome decor at the top of the trunk stretches the full-width repeating the theme of the Genesis emblem, while the dual exhaust finishers reference the Crest Grill design. The Luxury of Space The interior design of the G80 responds to the changing times where dominance of technology and information is no longer considered a luxury experience. Based on the "Beauty of White Space” concept inspired by traditional Korean architecture, priority is placed on the careful balance of personal space with state-of-the-art technology. This allowed the design team to optimize the layout of needed controls with calming, luxurious surfaces. Visibility was enhanced by minimizing A-pillar thickness and rearview mirror dimensions, utilizing flag type side mirrors and reducing dashboard height. The resulting ‘panoramic view’ gives the driver a relaxed view of the road ahead and the sense of openness when seated. Dividing the steering wheel into lower and upper halves, Genesis distinguishes the upper (panoramic area) and lower part (control area) to optimize intuitive use of the vehicle as well as the view ahead. The steering wheel and sleek, thin air vents run across the passenger compartment splitting it into the panoramic area above and the control area below. The number of hard buttons and switches was intentionally kept to a minimum, both for aesthetic purposes and ease of use. In the panoramic area, a heads-up display, a 12.3-inch instrument cluster and a 14.5-inch infotainment system display necessary information while driving. The control area is equipped with an intuitive suite of interfaces: a Genesis integrated controller for HVAC controls, a rotary-operated electronic shift dial and touch-and-write infotainment system. G80’s leading interior space has been further developed. Both headroom and legroom were increased by lowering the seating height of the second row, allowing for both more interior room and a more dramatic roofline. Completing the space, the G80 features leather seating and steering wheel surfaces, soft-touch fabrics and coatings as well as open pore wood trim finishes. Dynamic Luxury Begins with a Solid Foundation, Powertrain Innovations The G80's platform represents a brand-exclusive, third-generation, rear-wheel drive platform with a design that lowers the body and the center of gravity to secure a wider cabin and improved driving stability. “The all-new G80 brings all the existing strengths from the previous generations all the while upgrading the powertrain, platform and communication system with the state-of the art technologies,” said Albert Biermann, President, Head of Research & Development Division at Hyundai Motor Group. “It is a true, authentic Genesis.” The use of lighter weight materials was a distinct focus. Aluminum is used for about 19 percent of the body, reducing the weight by 110 kg (243 lbs) compared to the previous one, thus increasing fuel efficiency and performance. Engineered for world markets and customer needs, the G80 features three powertrains: 2.5-liter turbocharged Inline-4: 304 PS (300 HP @ 5,800 rpm) and 43.0 kgf·m torque (311 lb.-ft. from 1,650 – 4,000 rpm) 3.5-liter turbocharged V6: 380 PS (375 HP @ 5,800 rpm) and 54.0 kgf·m torque (391 lb.-ft. from 1,300 – 4,500 rpm) Diesel 2.2-liter Inline-4: 210 PS, 45.0 kgf·m torque. (Not available in the U.S. market) The G80 features improved door sealing, new engine compartment sound insulation and resonant sound-reducing wheels to ensure indoor quietness and class-leading, low levels of noise (NVH). In addition, the Electronically Controlled Suspension with Road Preview, enhances ride quality by reducing road impacts using information supplied through the front camera. Advanced Safety In keeping with the brand’s safety platform, G80 applies standard active and passive safety systems, as part of a brand-level engineering commitment to passenger security. State-of-the-art, advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) include: Highway Driving Assist II (HDA II): This system helps assist the driver in a wider variety of situations than before, including during lane change maneuvers when the turn signal is used, and when others merge in front of you. Smart Cruise Control with Machine Learning (SCC-ML): A world first, SCC-ML, as applied to the all-new Genesis GV80 SUV earlier this year, incorporates artificial intelligence (AI) within the Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) feature that helps the car to independently learn the driving characteristics of - and assist - its driver. Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA): This system may help automatically bring the G80 to a stop in certain situations where there is a risk of collision with an approaching vehicle detected on the left or right side of the intersection. G80 may also help detect potential collision risks in certain situations where a pedestrian is sensed in close proximity to the vehicle while in motion, for example. Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance Assist (BCA): BCA is essentially a Blind Spot Monitor with active capabilities. BCA helps reduce the chance of potential impact with a moving vehicle and may alert the driver if a vehicle is detected in the driver’s blind-spot A complement of 10 air bags includes front and side airbags as well as a center airbag, between the front seat occupants, that helps prevent secondary contact between occupants in a side impact. In addition, the Genesis safety platform works to integrate communications between 40+ controllers in real time to help ensure the safest response in various scenarios. Next-Generation, Technology-Enabled Luxury The G80 offers a high level of convenience to drivers with a suite of new technology. Each new feature is focused on further and seamlessly integrating the G80 with its client’s lifestyle, devices and preferences. A selection of highlighted features include: The Remote Smart Parking Assistant (RSPA) provides remote drive/reverse functions that facilitate parking in narrow spaces, as well as perpendicular parking and parallel parking. This can be controlled within the car or outside, remotely via the key fob. The 12.3-inch 3D instrument cluster recognizes the driver's eyes and provides various driving information and can be converted to 2D depending on the driver's preference. The Genesis Integrated Controller allows users to set destinations or enter phone numbers by simply writing on the main control center instead of complicated keyboard input. A 14.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system links with the Genesis Integrated Controller to support Genesis Quick Guide and Valet mode. Valet mode is a function that enhances security so that users' personal information does not appear on infotainment screens when using a Valet parking service. Over-the-air, wireless updates to the navigation system. Phone connectivity including Android Auto and Apple Car Play. With an eye toward the senses, luxury-focused items include: The driver's seat is equipped with an ergo motion seat function featuring seven air cells which enables optimum seating for each driving mode and reduces fatigue via a stretching mode and automatic posture correction functions. Ambient mood lamps applied throughout the interior add a sense of calm to the passenger space in various colors. From a sound standpoint, Genesis has enhanced the engine's sound with its Active Sound Design (ASD), standard on all G80s equipped with gasoline engines, adding an additional level of customization. The Lexicon sound system allows passengers to enjoy the vivid sound effects of a concert, such as "Quantum Logic Surround Audience Mode/Stage Mode," adding to the joy of listening. The first row HVAC system allows the driver to adjust the heated/ventilated seats in the second row and the air conditioning mode/temperature independently of the first row, increasing the convenience for second row passengers. Marketplace The all-new G80 enters the marketplace on March 30th in South Korea and in the second half of the year in other markets, starting with North America. View full article
  2. Genesis unveiled their dramatically redesigned G80 last night and it is quite the looker. The updated mid-size sedan boasts new design traits that first appeared on the GV80 crossover such as a larger, pentagonal grille and quad head and taillights. The most striking part is towards the back where Genesis' designers have given it fastback shape - no, it doesn't make it hatchback before you even ask. Moving inside, the G80 finds a balance between poshness and simplicity. From the photos provided by Genesis, the G80 looks to be available with leather upholstery, open-pore wood, and metal trim. Two large screens are used for the instrument cluster and infotainment system. Thankfully, Genesis does provide a number of control options such as touchscreen for the infotainment system, a number of physical buttons and knobs for various systems, and a controller knob. Two turbocharged engines will be available for the G80 in the U.S. A 2.5L inline-four pumping out 300 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque will serve as the base engine. One rung up is a twin-turbo 3.5L V6 with 375 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque. Both come paired with an eight-speed automatic and the choice of rear or all-wheel drive. The new G80 went on sale today in South Korea and plans to ship it over to the U.S. sometime in the second-half of this year. Source: Genesis Press Release is on Page 2 THE ALL-NEW GENESIS G80 DIGITAL WORLD PREMIERE: LEADING DESIGN AND LUXURY-FOCUSED TECHNOLOGY Design: Distinct and progressive design offers instantly-recognizable Genesis identity Technology: Next-generation, technology-enabled luxury seamlessly integrates with clients’ lifestyle, devices and preferences Safety: Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) leverage advancements in sensor technology, machine learning Performance: Brand-exclusive platform increases solidity, performance, fuel economy, luxury SEOUL, South Korea, March 30, 2020 – The all-new Genesis G80 made its digital world premiere today. It represents both the third generation of the brand’s executive sedan and a decade-plus of mid-luxury leadership from Genesis’ parent company. “The core of our brand lies within the G80,” said William Lee, Executive Vice President and Global Head of the Genesis Brand. “This segment represents where we started and we’re pleased that our newest offering achieves a perfect balance of discerning luxury and inspiring performance for our customers.” Athletic Elegance Elevated The story of the G80 begins with the brand’s emblem which inspires the Crest Grille and Quad Lamps, the distinctive face of every Genesis. “The all-new G80 is the centerpiece of our lineup perfectly weighing athletic and elegant characteristics. This represents the clearest interpretation yet of the Genesis brand identity,” said SangYup Lee, Senior Vice President, Head of Global Genesis Design. “Our goal is to offer unique, design-inspired experiences for our customers.” The brand’s “Athletic Elegance” design philosophy produces variations in design through a carefully-considered balance between its namesake’s opposing characteristics. While other Genesis models lean more towards athleticism or elegance, the G80 is characterized by the perfect balance in between, as the core of the model range. The front view embodies a distinguished but modern look, featuring the Crest Grill and double-lined Quad Lamp signature design elements. The two line graphics extend beyond the limits of the headlamps, into the rear fenders and the taillamps, encompassing all sides of the vehicle. On the side, the Parabolic Line, which begins at the front Quad Lamp and gradually runs lower to the rear through the top of the door, is inspired by the elegant look of several venerable classic cars. This elegant line is counter-balanced by athletic “power lines” emphasizing the fender volume and the upfitted 20-inch wheels. In addition, the chrome trim beginning from behind the front wheels stretches out along the bottom of the door, crosses the side sills and swells upwards to the rear, strengthening forward visual motion. The rear view features a dramatic, tapered look – highlighted by a sloping decklid and rear Quad Lamps which visually link to those in front. Chrome decor at the top of the trunk stretches the full-width repeating the theme of the Genesis emblem, while the dual exhaust finishers reference the Crest Grill design. The Luxury of Space The interior design of the G80 responds to the changing times where dominance of technology and information is no longer considered a luxury experience. Based on the "Beauty of White Space” concept inspired by traditional Korean architecture, priority is placed on the careful balance of personal space with state-of-the-art technology. This allowed the design team to optimize the layout of needed controls with calming, luxurious surfaces. Visibility was enhanced by minimizing A-pillar thickness and rearview mirror dimensions, utilizing flag type side mirrors and reducing dashboard height. The resulting ‘panoramic view’ gives the driver a relaxed view of the road ahead and the sense of openness when seated. Dividing the steering wheel into lower and upper halves, Genesis distinguishes the upper (panoramic area) and lower part (control area) to optimize intuitive use of the vehicle as well as the view ahead. The steering wheel and sleek, thin air vents run across the passenger compartment splitting it into the panoramic area above and the control area below. The number of hard buttons and switches was intentionally kept to a minimum, both for aesthetic purposes and ease of use. In the panoramic area, a heads-up display, a 12.3-inch instrument cluster and a 14.5-inch infotainment system display necessary information while driving. The control area is equipped with an intuitive suite of interfaces: a Genesis integrated controller for HVAC controls, a rotary-operated electronic shift dial and touch-and-write infotainment system. G80’s leading interior space has been further developed. Both headroom and legroom were increased by lowering the seating height of the second row, allowing for both more interior room and a more dramatic roofline. Completing the space, the G80 features leather seating and steering wheel surfaces, soft-touch fabrics and coatings as well as open pore wood trim finishes. Dynamic Luxury Begins with a Solid Foundation, Powertrain Innovations The G80's platform represents a brand-exclusive, third-generation, rear-wheel drive platform with a design that lowers the body and the center of gravity to secure a wider cabin and improved driving stability. “The all-new G80 brings all the existing strengths from the previous generations all the while upgrading the powertrain, platform and communication system with the state-of the art technologies,” said Albert Biermann, President, Head of Research & Development Division at Hyundai Motor Group. “It is a true, authentic Genesis.” The use of lighter weight materials was a distinct focus. Aluminum is used for about 19 percent of the body, reducing the weight by 110 kg (243 lbs) compared to the previous one, thus increasing fuel efficiency and performance. Engineered for world markets and customer needs, the G80 features three powertrains: 2.5-liter turbocharged Inline-4: 304 PS (300 HP @ 5,800 rpm) and 43.0 kgf·m torque (311 lb.-ft. from 1,650 – 4,000 rpm) 3.5-liter turbocharged V6: 380 PS (375 HP @ 5,800 rpm) and 54.0 kgf·m torque (391 lb.-ft. from 1,300 – 4,500 rpm) Diesel 2.2-liter Inline-4: 210 PS, 45.0 kgf·m torque. (Not available in the U.S. market) The G80 features improved door sealing, new engine compartment sound insulation and resonant sound-reducing wheels to ensure indoor quietness and class-leading, low levels of noise (NVH). In addition, the Electronically Controlled Suspension with Road Preview, enhances ride quality by reducing road impacts using information supplied through the front camera. Advanced Safety In keeping with the brand’s safety platform, G80 applies standard active and passive safety systems, as part of a brand-level engineering commitment to passenger security. State-of-the-art, advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) include: Highway Driving Assist II (HDA II): This system helps assist the driver in a wider variety of situations than before, including during lane change maneuvers when the turn signal is used, and when others merge in front of you. Smart Cruise Control with Machine Learning (SCC-ML): A world first, SCC-ML, as applied to the all-new Genesis GV80 SUV earlier this year, incorporates artificial intelligence (AI) within the Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) feature that helps the car to independently learn the driving characteristics of - and assist - its driver. Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA): This system may help automatically bring the G80 to a stop in certain situations where there is a risk of collision with an approaching vehicle detected on the left or right side of the intersection. G80 may also help detect potential collision risks in certain situations where a pedestrian is sensed in close proximity to the vehicle while in motion, for example. Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance Assist (BCA): BCA is essentially a Blind Spot Monitor with active capabilities. BCA helps reduce the chance of potential impact with a moving vehicle and may alert the driver if a vehicle is detected in the driver’s blind-spot A complement of 10 air bags includes front and side airbags as well as a center airbag, between the front seat occupants, that helps prevent secondary contact between occupants in a side impact. In addition, the Genesis safety platform works to integrate communications between 40+ controllers in real time to help ensure the safest response in various scenarios. Next-Generation, Technology-Enabled Luxury The G80 offers a high level of convenience to drivers with a suite of new technology. Each new feature is focused on further and seamlessly integrating the G80 with its client’s lifestyle, devices and preferences. A selection of highlighted features include: The Remote Smart Parking Assistant (RSPA) provides remote drive/reverse functions that facilitate parking in narrow spaces, as well as perpendicular parking and parallel parking. This can be controlled within the car or outside, remotely via the key fob. The 12.3-inch 3D instrument cluster recognizes the driver's eyes and provides various driving information and can be converted to 2D depending on the driver's preference. The Genesis Integrated Controller allows users to set destinations or enter phone numbers by simply writing on the main control center instead of complicated keyboard input. A 14.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system links with the Genesis Integrated Controller to support Genesis Quick Guide and Valet mode. Valet mode is a function that enhances security so that users' personal information does not appear on infotainment screens when using a Valet parking service. Over-the-air, wireless updates to the navigation system. Phone connectivity including Android Auto and Apple Car Play. With an eye toward the senses, luxury-focused items include: The driver's seat is equipped with an ergo motion seat function featuring seven air cells which enables optimum seating for each driving mode and reduces fatigue via a stretching mode and automatic posture correction functions. Ambient mood lamps applied throughout the interior add a sense of calm to the passenger space in various colors. From a sound standpoint, Genesis has enhanced the engine's sound with its Active Sound Design (ASD), standard on all G80s equipped with gasoline engines, adding an additional level of customization. The Lexicon sound system allows passengers to enjoy the vivid sound effects of a concert, such as "Quantum Logic Surround Audience Mode/Stage Mode," adding to the joy of listening. The first row HVAC system allows the driver to adjust the heated/ventilated seats in the second row and the air conditioning mode/temperature independently of the first row, increasing the convenience for second row passengers. Marketplace The all-new G80 enters the marketplace on March 30th in South Korea and in the second half of the year in other markets, starting with North America.
  3. The coronavirus has caused a number of auto shows to either be pushed back (New York) or cancelled (Geneva). Add another show to the list as the Detroit Free Press is reporting tonight at the Detroit Auto Show has been cancelled. In a memo that was sent to sponsors today, organizers of the show said that the TCF Center (formally known as Cobo Hall) has been designated as field hospital by Federal Emergency Management Administration [FEMA] for the next six months. "The health and welfare of the citizens of Detroit and Michigan is paramount. TCF Center is the ideal location for this important function at this critical and unprecedented time,” NAIAS executive director Rod Albert wrote in the memo obtained by the Free Press. The news was confirmed by ABC affiliate WXYZ after speaking with the chair of the 2020 show, Doug North. "The North American International Auto Show is officially canceled. TCF is working with FEMA to use the center to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak," said North. Ford and General Motors also confirmed the cancellation to The Detroit News. Michigan is becoming one of the hardest hit states with COVID-19. State officials announced today that there are 4,650 confirmed cases and 111 deaths linked to COVID-19. Wayne County, where the show takes place has the highest numbers of the state - 2,316 confirmed cases and 46 deaths. This was going to be a big year for the Detroit Auto Show with the move to the summer. Plans included rides and drives; an off-road course, and demonstration of autonomous vehicles. Source: Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News, WXYZ View full article
  4. The coronavirus has caused a number of auto shows to either be pushed back (New York) or cancelled (Geneva). Add another show to the list as the Detroit Free Press is reporting tonight at the Detroit Auto Show has been cancelled. In a memo that was sent to sponsors today, organizers of the show said that the TCF Center (formally known as Cobo Hall) has been designated as field hospital by Federal Emergency Management Administration [FEMA] for the next six months. "The health and welfare of the citizens of Detroit and Michigan is paramount. TCF Center is the ideal location for this important function at this critical and unprecedented time,” NAIAS executive director Rod Albert wrote in the memo obtained by the Free Press. The news was confirmed by ABC affiliate WXYZ after speaking with the chair of the 2020 show, Doug North. "The North American International Auto Show is officially canceled. TCF is working with FEMA to use the center to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak," said North. Ford and General Motors also confirmed the cancellation to The Detroit News. Michigan is becoming one of the hardest hit states with COVID-19. State officials announced today that there are 4,650 confirmed cases and 111 deaths linked to COVID-19. Wayne County, where the show takes place has the highest numbers of the state - 2,316 confirmed cases and 46 deaths. This was going to be a big year for the Detroit Auto Show with the move to the summer. Plans included rides and drives; an off-road course, and demonstration of autonomous vehicles. Source: Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News, WXYZ
  5. The redesigned Corolla Hatchback brought back something that was missing in the Corolla for a number of years; being somewhat interesting. With more expressive styling and a new platform that improves driving dynamics, the model has started to shed its image of being bland. But would this continue with the redesigned Corolla sedan? To find out, I spent a week in the top-line Corolla XSE. The basic profile is unchanged from the previous Corolla sedan, but Toyota has done their best to make look a bit more exciting. On the XSE, this means a different front clip from other Corollas with the emblem moved to towards the cutline of the hood, a larger lower grille, and deep cuts for the bumper. The distinctive fang headlights are carried over from other Corollas. Around back, not much has changed aside from a new rear diffuser. The updated look does make the Corolla sedan have presence, but I prefer the hatchback in terms of overall looks. One item that is shared between the sedan and hatchback is the dashboard. As I noted in my Corolla Hatchback review, the dash features a layered design, faux stitching, and infotainment screen mounted on top - measuring either seven or eight inches depending on the trim. I like that Toyota is taking chances with the design, but also retaining the excellent ergonomics it’s known for. My particular tester came with the larger eight-inch featuring the newest version of Entune. While I wish Toyota had done more to make the interface look more modern and feature colors that weren’t various shades of grey. But I cannot deny Toyota builds a system that anyone can quickly grasp thanks to the simple interface design, physical shortcut buttons to various features, and Apple CarPlay compatibility. Those with Android smartphones are left out in the cold. Those sitting up front will have no complaints about space, seat adjustment, or comfort. In the back, legroom is about average for the class. But headroom for taller passengers comes up a bit short, especially when you have the optional moonroof. Three powertrains are available in the Corolla; a 1.8L four in the L, LE, and XLE; 2.0L four for the SE and XSE; and a hybrid for the LE Hybrid. The 2.0L produces 169 horsepower and 151 pound-feet. The XSE only gets a CVT transmission, while the SE has the choice between the CVT and a six-speed manual. Performance is the same as with the Corolla SE I drove last year; decent around town and leaving stoplights, but really struggles when trying to get to higher speeds. A fair amount of engine noise does make it way inside when driving on the highway. EPA fuel economy figures for the Corolla XSE are 31 City/38 City/34 Highway - lower than the Corolla SE hatchback (32/41/35). My average for the week landed around 33.4 mpg on a 60/40 mix of highway and city driving. Handling is an improvement over the old Corolla as it feels slightly more lively with better control of body motions. But it cannot match the nimbleness of the hatchback. This likely comes down to the Corolla Hatchback being sold in the European market where a sportier ride is desired. The sedan sold in the U.S. is more attuned to providing a smooth ride. The Corolla XSE for the most part is able to smooth over most bumps and imperfections, but the 18-inch wheels does mean some bumps do make their way inside. Road and wind noise is kept to acceptable levels. There is one area that the Corolla XSE falters, value for money. With an as-tested price of $28,794, that puts you in the range of a well-equipped Mazda3 that not only offers more power, but has an interior that the Corolla cannot match. For only a couple grand less, a Kia Forte EX offers more equipment and a slightly larger back seat. Toyota has improved the Corolla sedan to a point where most of the blandness doesn’t exist. I would have liked to seen Toyota take some of the handling magic used on the hatchback and place it into the sedan. But Toyota knows most buyers don’t really care about this. By taking the strengths and wrapping it up in a package that stands out, it will mean more people may check out the Corolla. But I would recommend sticking with one of the lower trims as they offer a slightly better bang your for your buck. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Corolla, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2020 Make: Toyota Model: Corolla Trim: XSE Engine: 2.0L DOHC 16-Valve, Dual VVT-i Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT Horsepower @ RPM: 169 @ 6,600 Torque @ RPM: 151 @ 4,400 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 31/38/34 Curb Weight: 3,150 lbs Location of Manufacture: Toyota, Aichi, Japan Base Price: $25,450 As Tested Price: $28,794 (Includes $930.00 Destination Charge) Options: Premium Audio with Dynamic Navigation and JBL w/Clari-Fi - $1,715.00 Adaptive Front Lighting System - $450.00 Cargo Mat Package - $249.00 View full article
  6. The redesigned Corolla Hatchback brought back something that was missing in the Corolla for a number of years; being somewhat interesting. With more expressive styling and a new platform that improves driving dynamics, the model has started to shed its image of being bland. But would this continue with the redesigned Corolla sedan? To find out, I spent a week in the top-line Corolla XSE. The basic profile is unchanged from the previous Corolla sedan, but Toyota has done their best to make look a bit more exciting. On the XSE, this means a different front clip from other Corollas with the emblem moved to towards the cutline of the hood, a larger lower grille, and deep cuts for the bumper. The distinctive fang headlights are carried over from other Corollas. Around back, not much has changed aside from a new rear diffuser. The updated look does make the Corolla sedan have presence, but I prefer the hatchback in terms of overall looks. One item that is shared between the sedan and hatchback is the dashboard. As I noted in my Corolla Hatchback review, the dash features a layered design, faux stitching, and infotainment screen mounted on top - measuring either seven or eight inches depending on the trim. I like that Toyota is taking chances with the design, but also retaining the excellent ergonomics it’s known for. My particular tester came with the larger eight-inch featuring the newest version of Entune. While I wish Toyota had done more to make the interface look more modern and feature colors that weren’t various shades of grey. But I cannot deny Toyota builds a system that anyone can quickly grasp thanks to the simple interface design, physical shortcut buttons to various features, and Apple CarPlay compatibility. Those with Android smartphones are left out in the cold. Those sitting up front will have no complaints about space, seat adjustment, or comfort. In the back, legroom is about average for the class. But headroom for taller passengers comes up a bit short, especially when you have the optional moonroof. Three powertrains are available in the Corolla; a 1.8L four in the L, LE, and XLE; 2.0L four for the SE and XSE; and a hybrid for the LE Hybrid. The 2.0L produces 169 horsepower and 151 pound-feet. The XSE only gets a CVT transmission, while the SE has the choice between the CVT and a six-speed manual. Performance is the same as with the Corolla SE I drove last year; decent around town and leaving stoplights, but really struggles when trying to get to higher speeds. A fair amount of engine noise does make it way inside when driving on the highway. EPA fuel economy figures for the Corolla XSE are 31 City/38 City/34 Highway - lower than the Corolla SE hatchback (32/41/35). My average for the week landed around 33.4 mpg on a 60/40 mix of highway and city driving. Handling is an improvement over the old Corolla as it feels slightly more lively with better control of body motions. But it cannot match the nimbleness of the hatchback. This likely comes down to the Corolla Hatchback being sold in the European market where a sportier ride is desired. The sedan sold in the U.S. is more attuned to providing a smooth ride. The Corolla XSE for the most part is able to smooth over most bumps and imperfections, but the 18-inch wheels does mean some bumps do make their way inside. Road and wind noise is kept to acceptable levels. There is one area that the Corolla XSE falters, value for money. With an as-tested price of $28,794, that puts you in the range of a well-equipped Mazda3 that not only offers more power, but has an interior that the Corolla cannot match. For only a couple grand less, a Kia Forte EX offers more equipment and a slightly larger back seat. Toyota has improved the Corolla sedan to a point where most of the blandness doesn’t exist. I would have liked to seen Toyota take some of the handling magic used on the hatchback and place it into the sedan. But Toyota knows most buyers don’t really care about this. By taking the strengths and wrapping it up in a package that stands out, it will mean more people may check out the Corolla. But I would recommend sticking with one of the lower trims as they offer a slightly better bang your for your buck. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Corolla, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2020 Make: Toyota Model: Corolla Trim: XSE Engine: 2.0L DOHC 16-Valve, Dual VVT-i Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT Horsepower @ RPM: 169 @ 6,600 Torque @ RPM: 151 @ 4,400 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 31/38/34 Curb Weight: 3,150 lbs Location of Manufacture: Toyota, Aichi, Japan Base Price: $25,450 As Tested Price: $28,794 (Includes $930.00 Destination Charge) Options: Premium Audio with Dynamic Navigation and JBL w/Clari-Fi - $1,715.00 Adaptive Front Lighting System - $450.00 Cargo Mat Package - $249.00
  7. I know he is still around, he commented on my work anniversary for Cheers & Gears about a month ago, along with commenting on something on my Facebook around the same time. Need to reach out to him soon to find out if he'll be coming to Detroit for the autoshow during the summer.
  8. On Wednesday, General Motors invited a number of media to their tech center in Warren, MI for their EV Day event. The company is making a big bet on electric vehicles with 11 new vehicles rolling out by 2025, featuring a new electric modular platform and battery tech. Here's what we know. Third-Generation Electric Vehicle Platform Underpinning this massive push is GM's new third-generation EV platform (BEV3). The new platform was designed to provide flexibility for different vehicle types - ranging from compact cars to pickup trucks. Battery packs are designed to be mounted beneath the passenger compartment to allow for a lower center of gravity. This results in more passenger room and improved handling. The platform also allows for different drive configurations - front, rear, or all-wheel drive - depending on the vehicle. Ultium Battery Technology Providing the electric power for these new models is what GM calls Ultium batteries. Working together with its battery partner LG Chem, the Ultium batteries are large-format, pouch-style cells that can either be stacked vertically or horizontally in packs. This will allow more flexibility for engineers to design battery packs for vehicles. More important is the chemistry of the batteries. GM has reduced the amount Cobalt - an element used in the making of batteries that is becoming harder to find and expensive - by seventy percent. Instead, the batteries are using aluminum. This will hopefully bring down the price of the battery packs. Battery capacity will range from 50 to 200 kilowatt hours - giving a projected max range of 400 miles depending on the vehicle. Level II and DC fast-charging are both supported. The Vehicles At the event, GM had 10 vehicles on display and one shown via digital renderings. The current plan is to start launching the new models beginning later this year. Updated Chevrolet Bolt: The first vehicle to be launched in this offensive. It will get an updated interior with a more premium dash. Chevrolet Bolt EUV: The crossover-variant of the Bolt, it is about five-inches longer and rides on a wheelbase that has been stretched by three inches. An updated roofline reportedly eliminates the small front windows on the Bolt. The EUV will also be the first model outside of Cadillac to get Super Cruise. Chevrolet Midsize Crossover: About the same size as the Blazer, this model has an aggressive design and features a low roofline. A pair of 18-inch multimedia displays dominate the interior. Chevrolet Full-Size Truck: This was the model only shown in digital renderings according to those who were at the event. It will complement the Silverado and be aimed at those who want something to be used on a job site - not like the upcoming GMC Hummer Truck or Rivian which are aimed more at lifestyle folks. This model is expected to arrive in 2025. Buick Crossover and SUV: These two models didn't have a name and were wearing a design that was described by the Detroit Free Press as a "vaguely European look". GMC Hummer Truck: This will only be available in a crew-cab configuration with a five-foot bed. The design will be utilitarian and boxy. Inside, two large screens will serve as the instrument cluster and infotainment system. Don't expect any leather as many of materials used inside will be made from recycled materials. The truck will also have removable roof panels (like the Jeep Wrangler, that can be stored in the front trunk. GMC Hummer SUV: Basically the same as the truck, albeit using a shorter wheelbase. Cadillac Lyriq: We have seen teasers of this model last year and Cadillac dropped another this week showing off the silhouette - reminding us some crossovers from Jaguar and Porsche. The vehicle is wide and rides on 23-inch wheels. Size-wise, it is similar to the XT5. The interior boasts a 34-inch-wide high-def screen and seating for four, though the production model may have seating for five. Cadillac Celestiq: A new four-door flagship sedan that has a long front end and a fastback rear according to those who saw the clay model. It will be hand-built and carry a six-figure pricetag. Cadillac Large SUV: About the size of an Escalade, it be complementary vehicle to it. The model will have a more traditional design than the other Cadillac EVs. Inside, it will boast large screens up front and three-rows of seating. Source: Roadshow, Detroit Free Press, The Drive, General Motors Press Release is on Page 2 GM Reveals New Ultium Batteries and a Flexible Global Platform to Rapidly Grow its EV Portfolio WARREN, Mich. – Starting today, General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) is gathering hundreds of employees, dealers, investors, analysts, media and policymakers to share details of its strategy to grow the company’s electric vehicle (EV) sales quickly, efficiently and profitably. “Our team accepted the challenge to transform product development at GM and position our company for an all-electric future,” said Mary Barra, GM chairman and CEO. “What we have done is build a multi-brand, multi-segment EV strategy with economies of scale that rival our full-size truck business with much less complexity and even more flexibility.” The heart of GM’s strategy is a modular propulsion system and a highly flexible, third-generation global EV platform powered by proprietary Ultium batteries. They will allow the company to compete for nearly every customer in the market today, whether they are looking for affordable transportation, a luxury experience, work trucks or a high-performance machine. “Thousands of GM scientists, engineers and designers are working to execute an historic reinvention of the company,” said GM President Mark Reuss. “They are on the cusp of delivering a profitable EV business that can satisfy millions of customers.” Ultium Batteries and Propulsion System Highlights GM’s new Ultium batteries are unique in the industry because the large-format, pouch-style cells can be stacked vertically or horizontally inside the battery pack. This allows engineers to optimize battery energy storage and layout for each vehicle design. Ultium energy options range from 50 to 200 kWh, which could enable a GM-estimated range up to 400 miles or more on a full charge with 0 to 60 mph acceleration as low as 3 seconds. Motors designed in-house will support front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive and performance all-wheel drive applications. Ultium-powered EVs are designed for Level 2 and DC fast charging. Most will have 400-volt battery packs and up to 200 kW fast-charging capability while our truck platform will have 800-volt battery packs and 350 kW fast-charging capability. GM’s flexible, modular approach to EV development will drive significant economies of scale and create new revenue opportunities, including: Continuous Improvement in Battery Costs: GM’s joint venture with LG Chem will drive battery cell costs below $100/kWh. The cells use a proprietary low cobalt chemistry and ongoing technological and manufacturing breakthroughs will drive costs even lower. Flexibility: GM’s all-new global platform is flexible enough to build a wide range of trucks, SUVs, crossovers, cars and commercial vehicles with outstanding design, performance, packaging, range and affordability. Capital Efficiency: GM can spend less capital to scale its EV business because it is able to leverage existing property, including land, buildings, tools and production equipment such as body shops and paint shops. Complexity Reduction: The vehicle and propulsion systems were designed together to minimize complexity and part counts beyond today’s EVs, which are less complex than conventional vehicles powered by internal combustion engines. For example, GM plans 19 different battery and drive unit configurations initially, compared with 550 internal combustion powertrain combinations available today. Rising Customer Acceptance: Third-party forecasters expect U.S. EV volumes to more than double from 2025 to 2030 to about 3 million units on average. GM believes volumes could be materially higher as more EVs are launched in popular segments, charging networks grow and the total cost of ownership to consumers continues to fall. New Sources of Revenue: By vertically integrating the manufacture of battery cells, the company can reach beyond its own fleet and license technology to others. The first generation of GM’s future EV program will be profitable. The initial programs will pave the way for further accretive growth. GM’s technology can be scaled to meet customer demand much higher than the more than 1 million global sales the company expects mid-decade. Upcoming Launches and Reveals Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC and Buick will all be launching new EVs starting this year. The next new Chevrolet EV will be a new version of the Bolt EV, launching in late 2020, followed by the 2022 Bolt EUV, launching Summer 2021. The Bolt EUV will be the first vehicle outside of the Cadillac brand to feature Super Cruise, the industry's first true hands-free driving technology for the highway, which GM will expand to 22 vehicles by 2023, including 10 by next year. The Cruise Origin, a self-driving, electric shared vehicle, shown to the public in January 2020 in San Francisco, was the first product revealed using GM’s third generation EV platform and Ultium batteries. Next will be the Cadillac Lyriq luxury SUV in April. Details about its launch will be shared then. The reveal of the Ultium-powered GMC HUMMER EV will follow on May 20. Production is expected to begin in Fall 2021 at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant, GM’s first assembly plant 100 percent dedicated to EV production. View full article

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